What it is. A space maintainer is an appliance used to hold much-needed space for the developing permanent teeth. When some baby teeth have to be removed prematurely, space loss can occur which can cause major problems in the future. We often place fixed space maintainers to prevent this.
Why we do it. As pediatric dentists, one of our major concerns and goals is to help guide the permanent teeth into position. As children age, the posterior teeth are constantly trying to move toward the front of the mouth. If a child loses a baby molar early, space maintainers may be required to hold the space for the developing permanent tooth underneath that has not yet erupted. A failure to address space maintenance can lead to severe problems with crowding in the permanent dentition.
What to expect. If a baby tooth has been removed prematurely, Little Smiles creates a custom made space maintainer. It is placed in the open area once the area of extraction has healed (typically two weeks). Our team will review space maintainer care (such as which foods to avoid) with you at your child’s visit.